Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Texas?

In Texas you are capable of refusing a Breathalyzer test if you are pulled over – though doing so may result in a penalty.

A breath test, or more commonly known as a breathalyzer test, is the use of a device designed to estimate a person’s blood alcohol content from a breath sample. Through this test, it is possible for law enforcement officers to determine whether or not someone is driving under the influence of alcohol. Being pulled over is generally an unpleasant encounter and being asked to take such a test often leads to an even more uncomfortable and uncertain experience. When it comes to your rights and what you may or may not refuse there is often a grey area. With a test as invasive as the breathalyzer, the question as to whether or not you must participate often arises. Although drivers do have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, they may face penalty for doing so.

Texas’ Implied Consent Laws

Driving in the state of Texas is a privilege many have, though it is not a right. When you obtain a driver’s license in Texas you enter an implied consent agreement. This agreement states that by applying for and obtaining a driver’s license in Texas you agree to specific rules and regulations. Though you may refuse to take a breathalyzer test, doing so breaks this agreement and in turn may lead to further consequences.

Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

While you may have the right to refuse, this does not disqualify someone from further consequences if they refuse to provide one. These penalties include:

  • A first offense DWI is a Class B misdemeanor in the state of Texas. If convicted, the offender may face fines of up to $2,000 as well as a jail sentence of up to 180 days.
  • A second offense DWI is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the offender faces a maximum fine of $4,000 and a jail sentence that can be anywhere from 0 days to one year in jail.
  • A third offense DWI is a third-degree felony which carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and may face a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

Contact a DWI Attorney Immediately

If you refuse to provide a breath sample, there is a strong possibility of your license being suspended. However, there is the ability to combat this to prevent your license from being revoked. You have a 15-day window from the date of suspension to set a court hearing in attempt to regain your driving privileges. If you do not set a court hearing within this 15-day period, you automatically forfeit your ability to appeal the charge. Even under the circumstances of failing the breathalyzer test, you still are entitled to a 15-day window to set a hearing.

Our Texas DWI Lawyers can Help with Your Charges

Whether you are facing license suspension due to refusal of a breathalyzer test, or more severe charges, our Texas DWI Lawyers can help. At the law firm of Granger and Mueller, we understand the defenses available to DWI charges. Call us today at (512) 474-9999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.